The Safety of Dental Composites

Recently there have been reports that certain resins and composites used to restore and seal teeth may, potentially, release the toxin bisphenol A (BPA).  This is the same chemical that was earlier linked to plastic baby bottles and water bottles.  There have been prime time news reports suggesting that even sealants on children’s teeth may put them at risk of BPA exposure.  This news has both patients and dentist wondering about the safety of the materials that are most commonly used to restore and protect teeth.

Since, in our practice, we use the 3M line of composites and resins we contacted 3M to find out the facts about their products.  3M has performed biocompatability assesments on all their products potentially impacted by this issue and has confirmed that they are safe for their intended use.  They state that no BPA is added to any of their materials currently on the market.  Like many other dental manufactures, 3M uses the material BisGMA in many of their resins and bonding agents.  BisGMA (Bisphenol A diglyceride ether methacrylate) is not the same as Bisphenol A.  Studies show that BisGMA is stable when used as intended and does not break down to BPA.  These studies were summerized and the findings confirmed in the journal “Pediatrics” (”Bisphenol A and Related Compounds in Dental Materials”, online September 6, 2010).

The “Pediatrics” article notes that the material Bisphenol A dimethacrylate (BisDMA) may release BPA but is not the same as the BisGMA found in most dental products.  3M does not use BisDMA in their dental products.

We are commited to the health and safety of our patients as are reputable dental product manufactures such as 3M.  We are confident that the products we use to treat our patients are safe and effective and of the highest quality.  We hope that this information allays any concerns about the safety of this important class of dental materials.